Competition watchdog to clear rescue of McColl’s by Morrisons if it agrees to sell a number of stores
The competition watchdog will clear the rescue of McColl’s by Morrisons if it sells a number of stores over concerns the tie-up could push prices up.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found 35 areas in which the deal could reduce competition between the convenience store chain and Motor Fuel Group (MFG), which, like the supermarket, is owned by private equity firm CD&R.
The watchdog said the merger would have no impact on the ‘vast majority’ of shoppers, but could hit those in areas where the two compete.
Collapse: McColl’s has more than 1,100 convenience stores across the country while MFG has 800 convenience stores on its forecourts
It is likely Morrisons will move to sell a number of McColl’s sites to address the concerns, getting the deal over the line.
CMA merger director Sorcha O’Carroll said the importance of ‘proper competition’ was heightened by the soaring cost of living.
McColl’s has more than 1,100 convenience stores across the country while MFG has 800 convenience stores on its forecourts.
Morrisons bought McColl’s in a £190million rescue deal in May after the convenience chain collapsed into administration.
The watchdog launched a ‘phase one’ investigation into the deal in July.
Morrisons has five days to propose a solution to the watchdog before it considers whether to launch an in-depth probe.